Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Discuss the educational and physical requirements, testing process and background phase involved in the hiring process. Includes the experiences and advice of current and past applicants. All agency application related questions belong here.
mountaindew
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Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby mountaindew » Sat May 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Hi everyone!

I plan on applying for the RCMP next spring when I finish university. I've lived almost all of my life (age 22) in suburban Ottawa and central Toronto, save for ages 4-6 when I lived in Winnipeg. Of course, chances are my first post after Depot will be in a place very different from Southern Ontario, so I'm doing research to see which detachments I should indicate preference for after my division is determined (my preferences at that level are BC, Alberta, and Saskatchewan). I'd like to ask any current or former RCMP members what life is like as a police officer out west.

I'd love to hear from members who have served in all kinds of detachments, from the large cities like Surrey and Kelowna to the smallest towns and rural areas. Tell me about things like politics, culture, demographics, what kinds of calls you deal with most often, etc. Anything someone from Ontario should know.

Thanks and have a great day!

*also sorry if this isn't the right forum for this question. I was considering posting it under the "Ask an RCMP recruiter" ones but thought it would be better to hear it from members who might be more impartial*

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Pete Broccolo
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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby Pete Broccolo » Sat May 28, 2016 7:25 pm

I was born & raised in St Catharines ON, and other than a brief period at McMaster, was there until I went to Depot.
Other than a few prisoner escorts from Alberta, and cruising around inside the MTCC on a gof cart during the 2010 Toronto G20, my entire career was spent in Saskatchewan:
- Waskesiu Lake: early May to mid Oct 1976;
- Green Lake: to late Aug 1977;
- Swift Current: to mid June 1981;
- Cabri: to late June 1985;
- Melfort: to late Aug 1993;
- Weyburn: still.
Above are / were among the best postings in SK. People are very supportive of the RCMP.
If you have a significant other, she or he better be willing to transfer around and NEVER be able to get a posting near their family. Your immediate family should also be prepared to only see you when they can come out to wherever you are, or when you can get away to see them.
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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby Tango5 » Sat May 28, 2016 8:40 pm

Surrey is great. Don't believe any BS you hear.
It is busy as hell but your days go fast too.

Bring tone of cash. Average house prices are around 800k, better areas hit close to 1.5 mil$ + for a house.
... For the Grammar Police, get off my back, I wasn't born here.

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby mountaindew » Sun May 29, 2016 12:07 am

Thanks for the replies, Pete and Tango!

Pete: I appreciate the info on Saskatchewan detachments. Great to hear that residents support their local law enforcement. Lord knows that's different from the way things are in Toronto...

Tango: I actually think that Surrey will be high on my list. As you said, it's definitely busy and busy is better than boredom. Not only that, but there's a clear long term problem (gang wars/gun crime) that I would be doing my part in trying to fix, and I like having tangible, measurable goals to work towards.

As for cost of living...that might be tough to deal with at the start. Hopefully I can become friends with any other recruits from Depot who end up in the Lower Mainland and we can rent a place together for the first little while.

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby John014 » Sun May 29, 2016 2:02 pm

Tango5 wrote:Surrey is great. Don't believe any BS you hear.
It is busy as hell but your days go fast too.

Bring tone of cash. Average house prices are around 800k, better areas hit close to 1.5 mil$ + for a house.


I second this. Cpls in depot who have never been to BC love to bash Surrey. It is a great place to work and you have a tonne of support staff which helps clear up a small portion of the ridiculous amount of paper you will be writing.

Also in depot they say you don't investigate files in Surrey, this is a lie. Only a small portion of files are passed off to specialized units.

Surrey rocks.
If you choose Law Enforcement you LOSE the right to be unfit.

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby mountaindew » Sun May 29, 2016 4:48 pm

John014 wrote:I second this. Cpls in depot who have never been to BC love to bash Surrey. It is a great place to work and you have a tonne of support staff which helps clear up a small portion of the ridiculous amount of paper you will be writing.

Also in depot they say you don't investigate files in Surrey, this is a lie. Only a small portion of files are passed off to specialized units.

Surrey rocks.


Sounds like it! Thanks for the reply :D

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby noanykey » Mon May 30, 2016 1:30 pm

I've lived in Surrey for pretty much all my life, minus a stint in Downtown Vancouver.

I absolutely despise the "Surrey is a shit hole" mentality. Where I live, Whalley.. OH MY GOD it used to be BAAAAAAAAAAAD. Now-a-days, minus that stretch on 103ave, that I'm sure Tango has seen. It's not bad at all. You can see that in maybe 5 years, it'll be an outstanding place to live. I judge everything on how many street lights go up, in the past few months, 3 have been put up. Changes are coming.. There is some really beautiful buildings that have been built and many more are coming..

But you also need to be aware of certain condos. Some have RCMP officers there constantly, places like mine.. Never.. So be careful, if you're looking in areas.

There's a reason BC is also known as Bring Cash.. We have the highest Insurance rates in Canada, gas prices are insane, if you live in Surrey or east-er, Port Mann, Golden Ears are toll bridges at $4.10 per crossing. The new Patullo will be tolled as well.. Life out here isn't cheap and don't even get me started on the housing prices..
Personally, it's a small price to pay to be able to Ride my motorcycle on Saturday, and go Scuba Diving on Sunday..

Could always hope you get sent to the Island.. It's a *tad* cheaper and a billion times more beautiful.

EDIT - I used the wrong "there" :(
Last edited by noanykey on Mon May 30, 2016 9:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby mack_silent » Mon May 30, 2016 9:01 pm

Is it feasible to live comfortably as an RCMP officer in BC?
The wages look great on paper, but I've heard rent and home cost is super inflated out West.
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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby Tango5 » Mon May 30, 2016 11:01 pm

mack_silent wrote:Is it feasible to live comfortably as an RCMP officer in BC?
The wages look great on paper, but I've heard rent and home cost is super inflated out West.


It depends.
What's "live comfortably"?

To you it might mean a different thing then it does to me.
To live somewhat comfortably... In my books,, you need two incomes at net,, 45 and 70k

Then, you can afford a 500k mortgage and support 4 kids, have 3 cars running etc. That's for families. And that's to live. Never mind... Comfortably.
A single person?, what's the starting wage after Depot for a rookie member?, 26$ per hour?, deduct taxes.

Saying that, you can still get condos or town homes in "poorer" areas for 250 to 400k respectively.

:), today, 500k mortgage for new buyers is a norm here.
Rents are in the 1000$/month range for tiny places depending on area.
... For the Grammar Police, get off my back, I wasn't born here.

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby Tango5 » Mon May 30, 2016 11:34 pm

noanykey wrote:I've lived in Surrey for pretty much all my life, minus a stint in Downtown Vancouver.

I absolutely despise the "Surrey is a shit hole" mentality. Where I live, Whalley.. OH MY GOD it used to be BAAAAAAAAAAAD. Now-a-days, minus that stretch on 103ave, that I'm sure Tango has seen. It's not bad at all. You can see that in maybe 5 years, it'll be an outstanding place to live. I judge everything on how many street lights go up, in the past few months, 3 have been put up. Changes are coming.. There is some really beautiful buildings that have been built and many more are coming..

But you also need to be aware of certain condos. Some have RCMP officers there constantly, places like mine.. Never.. So be careful, if you're looking in areas.

There's a reason BC is also known as Bring Cash.. We have the highest Insurance rates in Canada, gas prices are insane, if you live in Surrey or east-er, Port Mann, Golden Ears are toll bridges at $4.10 per crossing. The new Patullo will be tolled as well.. Life out here isn't cheap and don't even get me started on the housing prices..
Personally, it's a small price to pay to be able to Ride my motorcycle on Saturday, and go Scuba Diving on Sunday..

Could always hope you get sent to the Island.. It's a *tad* cheaper and a billion times more beautiful.

EDIT - I used the wrong "there" :(


Every area in Surrey has their 'spots'. Maybe not as 'ugly' as the Strip and sourounding streets and areas but still.. Challenging from policing prospective. Even the 'rich' and 'quiet' D5
... For the Grammar Police, get off my back, I wasn't born here.

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby bainne » Tue May 31, 2016 3:14 pm

There's always Alberta. Lot's of good places to wind up, maybe a bit less oversight from copious layers of management because of the many rural posts, you really feel like your own boss. Aside from the once booming oil towns housing is much more reasonable. Especially right now, you'll actually make money in 5 years when you sell. Also plenty of reserve policing to keep you busy and have some good investigations.

Don't put the cart before the horse. You need to get in to Depot and get halfway throught before you can even think about choosing a province. Most people from ON get what they want because the mentality is "they can't go home at all" so they get a bit of preference in their picks

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby mountaindew » Tue May 31, 2016 6:49 pm

bainne wrote:There's always Alberta. Lot's of good places to wind up, maybe a bit less oversight from copious layers of management because of the many rural posts, you really feel like your own boss. Aside from the once booming oil towns housing is much more reasonable. Especially right now, you'll actually make money in 5 years when you sell. Also plenty of reserve policing to keep you busy and have some good investigations.

Don't put the cart before the horse. You need to get in to Depot and get halfway throught before you can even think about choosing a province. Most people from ON get what they want because the mentality is "they can't go home at all" so they get a bit of preference in their picks


I didn't mean to sound presumptuous. Of course finishing Depot will be the biggest challenge of my life thus far!

Thanks everyone for the replies!

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby azims » Wed Jun 01, 2016 1:30 pm

Alberta is good. Provincial gvt is very supportive of the RCMP. Generally speaking, majority of the people here like the police. Housing can be a bit expensive but not as high as interior BC or GTA. I moved from a big city in On. to a tiny one in AB. It is a bit over whelming at first but you get used to it.

In terms of police work in AB, you get to lay charges without crown or supervisor's approval except for homicide and other serious crimes ofcourse. Its a good learning experience and you get to work on good files regardlesss of how much service you have. For first 5 to 7 years of your service, you want a busy posting so you can learn more and become self sufficient.
If you enjoy outdoor activities and travelling then RCMP will be a good option for you

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby John014 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 7:57 pm

mack_silent wrote:Is it feasible to live comfortably as an RCMP officer in BC?
The wages look great on paper, but I've heard rent and home cost is super inflated out West.


Live in the LMD with one income for my family of four.
I own my own home and enjoy vacations.

As long as you are smart with your money and are not buying a $60,000 truck out of Depot you will be ok.

Also if you graduate Depot and move to the LMD I have a place you can rent in a safe neighborhood until you start making full wages.
If you choose Law Enforcement you LOSE the right to be unfit.

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Re: Life as an RCMP officer in the West

Postby mountaindew » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:20 pm

Might take you up on that offer in about two years, John014 :) And thanks for the Alberta info azims!


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